Since I have finished Part 1 of "Us and Them", I thought it would be fun and interesting to share a few tidbits about the comic, both story wise and doing the work.
The Origin of "Us and Them"
Originally I had no intention on making a comic based on "Escape to Pride Rock". I was more focused on writing a story and doing pages for a Transformers/Lion King comic I had in mind, but I still enjoyed the world and the story of "Escape to Pride Rock". Then one day a contest was held by "Escape to Pride Rock"'s author, Kobbzz, with the subject "Behind the Scenes" and contestants could either pick to do a story about what Kheri went through in the male prison or what Niki went through during her escape from prison.
Most the entries I've seen who picked Kheri's option usually had him beaten up or intimidated by the male prisoners. Understandable, but I wanted to go a different route and thought instead of beating him up or intimidating him, what if one of the prisoners actually began to help Kheri and looked out for him? So I came up with the short story and then drew the comic pages with Jambazi as the main prisoner Kheri had to deal with but instead of making Kheri's life a living nightmare I had Jambazi actually become some sort of guardian for Kheri and at the end revealed that Jambazi wanted someone to keep a lookout for his mate's killer in Saba Wing and that is why he protected Kheri in Pima.
I actually won second place with that entry, which was a huge surprise for me since I didn't expect to win anything.
Afterwards I've received questions asking who killed Jambazi's mate and if the story was going to continue.
These questions and winning second place actually caused me to think that there could be more to this story and soon I started coming up with new ideas, scenarios and new characters for Pima Wing. I then began writing a timeline for the story and there the story of "Us and Them" was created.
The creation of Jambazi
One of my favorite characters from Transformers Prime was Knock Out so I started doodling him as a lion due to the fact he originally was going to appear in my Transformers/Lion King comic. Around the same time the old ETPR RP forum was going on and I wanted to RP in the Pima Wing section and I thought it would be funny if Knock Out was in that prison. However, Knock Out isn't a good name for an African setting so I went to search for a name that could fit for both the setting and the character.
I eventually found the name "Jambazi" which means "rogue" in Swahili. I took a liking to the name and so I named the character Jambazi. I then started role playing him in the ETPR forum in order to get a feel for him and to my surprise he became one of the well-liked characters in it.
When I started working on "Us and Them", I received a constructive criticism about him, telling me that I ought to make my own character instead of having Jambazi be exactly like Knock Out. So after thinking about it, I fleshed out more of Jambazi's personality and then created a new lion based on Knock Out for my TF/Lion King comic and named him "Kiburi."
Jambazi's personality is now different from Knock Out's personality, but there are still slight traces of his old personality.
The first several pages of the comic were sketched out in a sketchbook and then scanned into my laptop. Afterwards I would use GIMP to do the lineart and the coloring. Now that I have my own tablet and downloaded FireAlpaca, I do the newest pages on FireAlpaca which I think looks a lot better. The comic was not titled "Us and Them" at first. I didn't had a title in mind while working the contest entry and I thought of many different titles after I finished the first few pages for the main story. It was originally called "Jambazi's Story", "Bad Boys", "Jailbirds", and "@#$*%&!!" (It got reeeeaally frustrating after awhile.) Finally I just got so frustrated with it, I began to look up the episode titles for the series "Bad Girls" and the first ever episode was titled "Us and Them". I thought that captured the whole mindset about the prison perfectly so I decided to use that title. Sadiki was originally a light gray color and named Kivuli and had a more bubbly optimistic personality. But just like Jambazi her personality evolved into an officer with lots of sass and who wouldn't allow the inmates to walk all over her yet would help them out the best she could. Her pelt coloring also changed after I realized I didn't like the gray coloring I gave her and gave her old name to another character in my TF/Lion King comic.Originally, Damu was going to do something much darker to Takata when he refused to pay up. However I thought that was probably just too dark for a comic that was just starting out and decided to have Damu about to claw Takata's eye out with his claw before being stopped by Jambazi....not sure if that's any better though. -_-;Part 2 will introduce new characters and possibly also some well-known characters from "Escape to Pride Rock", most importantly our FAVORITE blue-eyed principal officer from Saba Wing! So stay tuned!
But seriously, thanks again for reading and enjoying the comic! Really appreciate it!
Got anymore questions about "Us and Them"? Feel free to ask and I'll answer the best I can...or I'll just make up an answer. XD